LD20 turbo wagon build

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jon510
Posts: 80
Joined: 31 Jul 2012 16:01

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby jon510 » 03 Nov 2015 22:47

I haven't updated things in a while, so I figure it's about time. Not a huge amount of progress on my end, but Mike is getting the car looking great.

I did finally (I think) sort out my clutch spacing issues. Andy at specialty managed to dig up a short TO bearing collar for me, and now my clutch fork sits in the middle of the window when the zx transmission is installed. So hopefully this will work when installed! I'm just crossing my fingers that I haven't screwed something else up that ended up causing the clutch to slip last time.
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James has been working away today on my oil pan. After installing the reversed front crossmember, the big futofab bar wouldn't fit between the oil pan and the member. James has been working on notching the pan so that the bar will fit. Still a work in progress, and I was a bit negligent on making proper measurements for fitment, but I think this should do the trick.

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I have been in touch with flex form about rear springs. I'm going with a 1.5" rear drop so that I don't have to worry about diff slap (I hope). Mark suggested a 215lb spring would be close enough to the front 225s and would help make sure I get down to the 1.5" drop. So these are in progress, hopefully done within the month. I have a futofab rear bar to match the front, and now just need to work on sourcing good shocks. If anyone has any recommendations, I'm all ears - it seems a bit difficult to figure out the right shock length with a lowered wagon, especially with the increased spring rate. I have tokico blues in the front, hopefully these will be ok to match my front springs, I wouldn't be surprised if I have to go adjustable all the way around to get things working well. But a shock length in the rear will get me started.

Other jobs include getting a shorter throttle cable (the later 200sx one was too long), I will order an early 80s one. It would be nice to find the same generation (z20) 200sx gas pedal if there is one out there, but I've had no luck. I can make the later 200sx pedal work, it's just jury rigged for now and not as ideal as the earlier one. I don't suppose anyone has an extra late 70s/early 80s 200sx pedal assembly kicking around unused....

I'm debating still on colors. I had been thinking about doing a z color, either a sky blue metallic that my dad had on his old 280z that probably got me hooked on datsuns in the first place, or a green. Not sure whether either of these pop enough. I kind of like some of the more modern metallic colors that are on newer cars but am not sure they really fit the car. And I've been reluctant to pick a stock code. So I'm probably driving Mike crazy, just not as nuts as if I actually go with Honda fit orange ;-)

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Futofab fender fitment:
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Color options:
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I have been having a few second thoughts about my diesel project lately with all the bad diesel news out there, especially owning one of the affected vw TDIs. That said, these old diesels have always been pretty dirty and my main goal was fuel economy and being able to used a reccyled fuel source on this car with a veggie conversion. I do live in east van so maybe down the road I can design my own urea injection system using urine to get my NOx down, it would be very hipster. :wink: (Hoping sarcasm will come across typed....)

I'm looking forward to getting paint on and starting the reassembly process, won't be too long now. I've been debating whether the take the engine apart at all and have it looked at, but given the budget isn't infinite I think I'll clean it up a bit and see how things go once it's back in, it may need reworking down the road. I managed to get a full gasket set from ebay UK, and I'm just working on sourcing the right water pump, it's a bit tricky without having a clear model of vehicle this came from. Here's hoping I can get the right one!

More to come as things get pieced together more.

Jon

jon510
Posts: 80
Joined: 31 Jul 2012 16:01

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby jon510 » 04 Nov 2015 14:17

Sorry, something really weird happened with the pics in this last post, order totally changed. Oops

Jon

510tdi
Posts: 119
Joined: 05 May 2013 19:44
Location: Troutdale (near Portland) ,Oregon

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby 510tdi » 04 Nov 2015 18:23

Hi Jon,
I always look forward to your updates and I wouldn't feel bad at all about your engine choice. Every form of propulsion has it's compromises.

I have my own take on "Dieselgate". I think all the people who thought they were getting a relatively enironmentally friendly with the VWs were right and still are. They're now angry at the wrong institution. Those VW engineers knew the fix was in as far as the unfair restrictions on diesels and decided to cheat against a rigged system. I'd bet that they, in their arrogant, superior way, truly feel that the modern diesel engine, even with it's comparative dirtyness, still has the overall lowest carbon footprint. It still baffles me that a Hummer that gets 10mpg passes emissions but a European turbo diesel that gets 70mpg doesn't pass. We, the consumers are also part of the problem with our ultra privileged expectations-"I want 50mpg AND 0-60 in 5 seconds!".. Remember that the TDI's did pass the tests albeit in a tuned down state. I bet they'd still drive drive pretty sweet in "test" mode.

As far as your wagon, it's looking great. I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of modern metallic colors on older cars but it's gonna' be cool whatever you come up with. Can't wait to see how this thing turns out!

Keep it up,
Bryan

jon510
Posts: 80
Joined: 31 Jul 2012 16:01

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby jon510 » 18 Dec 2015 22:36

Not a huge amount of updates but probably time for a couple. Mike has the body all done and paint is going on.

I picked a 280z light blue metallic. Brings back memories of my dad's old Z. I think it will suit the wagon. I'm eager to see it all together in paint.
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I have been cleaning up the engine. In the process of pulling off a bunch of little bits I pulled off the intake, valve cover, and thermostat housing and had them polished by a guy Mike found me on craigslist. In the process I found a bunch of oil on the turbo and intake. So, 450 bucks later West Coast in Richmond has rebuilt my turbo. It's a T1/2 garrett, so thankfully parts weren't hard to come by. The new polished pieces and a bit of paint a cleaning definitely help. I'm a little daunted by all the moving oxidized parts on the injector pump, I don't think I'll be pulling that now. Down the road....
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I'm hoping the turbo rebuild will help with the smoke the engine had before. Sourcing parts for the LD is... interesting. This engine was sold in the UK and made it onto Vanettes, Serenas, and Largos. I think it was on the bluebird in other markets. Ebay UK has been a saviour, I've sourced a full gasket kit, head gasket, and water pump from there. The latter was a bit difficult, there seem to have been a few arrangements available. It's a weird setup to me having worked only on the L and Z engines before, it installs behind the timing cover so I had to pull the timing belt again and pulleys, etc. Here's hoping it doesn't leak.
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After reading up on using permatex and the various theories I ended up using a dry gasket, normally I wouldn't give it a second thought but with the amount of work required to pull everything apart again once the engine's installed I'm sure hoping that's the right choice.

I'm still cleaning up a few things and waiting to get the pan back from James, hopefully getting all the leaks sealed hasn't been a huge pain. I better have measured right to get the sway bar to clear otherwise I'm going to feel like an idiot.

I also should have rear springs on the way. Form flex did a 215lb 1.5" drop for me on the leafs. I still have to figure out shocks and valving for the rear. I have a feeling I will be making a trip to Specialty to get Andy's input on this. I'm sort of wondering if I would have been better getting a 225lb stock spring and then using lowering blocks so I could use a stock length shock, but too late now.

That's about it. I'm going to be pretty busy in January so I expect to be picking up the car from Mike in February and spending a couple days getting it rolling, then towing it back and starting reassembly. Maybe it will be ready for summer. Maybe.....

Jon

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Byron510
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Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby Byron510 » 18 Dec 2015 23:28

Jon, you've put a lot of thought into this project and it's showing. as you have already assembled it once, the next shot when it comes back will go much faster than most projects. It looks great and stepping in a slightly different direction with the diesel is absolutely great to see. And a Datsun Diesel of not too far off the correct era is also cool. Yes the newer diesel have much more output, but also higher stressed. So there is the trade off.

Looking forward to more updates as you go. And maybe photos of the shell in the fresh paint thread as well :D

Byron
Love people and use things,
because the opposite never works.

510tdi
Posts: 119
Joined: 05 May 2013 19:44
Location: Troutdale (near Portland) ,Oregon

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby 510tdi » 19 Dec 2015 09:37

Thanks for the update Jon.
Even though I'm not a huge metallic fan, I like this color. I had a friend with a 280Z with this color also. The engine looks fantastic. The valve cover and intake manifold have an old school, cast look about them. WAY better looking than a bunch of plastic panels.

Please update again when you can. Personally, I think you ought to drive it down to Portland for you inaugural road trip next summer:)

Bryan

jon510
Posts: 80
Joined: 31 Jul 2012 16:01

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby jon510 » 20 Dec 2015 08:51

Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback. I hope you're right Byron, I have been thinking the reassembly would be easier but you never know... depends how well I labelled all my bolts, etc ;-) I have never had a car this far apart before, Mike is a good influence for doing things properly which will make the end result that much better but I think the reassembly process will be a bit longer than I expected. I guess that's the way it always goes anyway.

The polished stuff does look good. I just need to do something with that EGR valve now, I painted the base but the top just looks crappy compared to all the polished stuff around it. I have been looking at tedneugent's photos and admiring how clean his engine bay is, but I probably won't be able to get things that slick - I don't think there was any wiring for glow plugs, etc, not something I can do without here (or the missing windshield wipers, definitely not an option in Vancouver). I don't think I really want to delete the EGR so I'll have to see about plating it or something. Might be tough. Just hoping to improve on my Z20 install, I think the end result will be a bit cleaner.

Bryan, a Portland trip sounds good. It's a great town and the family would be a up for a trip back in the summer I'm sure. Here's hoping I the final gear ratio in 5th works out ok, otherwise it might be a bit of a slow trip. I think a surfboard would look good on the wagon, maybe I can strap one on and do a trip down the coast on the way to do a bit of surfing on the way. I'm wondering if I'm going to regret not putting the wagon roof rack on down the road...

I'll have some photos up soon when the paint is on the shell.

Jon

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Byron510
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Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby Byron510 » 20 Dec 2015 09:26

You know Jon, you can very closely mimic CAD plated in paint with a mix of gold and chrome spray paint if disassembly of the valve is not an option. It looks pretty good, I have done this in the past.

Spray the part in gold colour, then from a distance, fog over just a slight bit of the chrome paint and it gives a reasonably good effect. You can always clear coat it afterwards for a bit more protection from the elements as well.

It was Art Hughes who taught me the trick. An option to keep in mind at any rate as it can be done right in place.


Byron
Love people and use things,
because the opposite never works.

510tdi
Posts: 119
Joined: 05 May 2013 19:44
Location: Troutdale (near Portland) ,Oregon

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby 510tdi » 20 Dec 2015 14:10

Now you're talking Jon,
Go down the coast surfing, then head east along the Columbia by my place. See the Gorge and waterfalls on your way to Hood River for some wind surfing then take Hwy 97 north for the totally different scenic route home. Man, I'd love to take that trip myself!

As far as rear end ratio, I'm betting you'll eventually want something taller but unfortunately there aren't many Datsun solid axle ratios available. I've thought I would end up using a Ford Mustang II rear end. I think they go all the way down to something like 2.7:1. I think ideally you want something around 2500rpm or less at 60-65mph with the diesel.

Concerning the roof rack, I'd rather use a Yakima than have holes in my roof. That's why you have drip rails, right?

It's looking good,
Bryan

510tdi
Posts: 119
Joined: 05 May 2013 19:44
Location: Troutdale (near Portland) ,Oregon

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby 510tdi » 30 Jan 2016 12:32

Hey Jon,
I'm doing my periodic check in. Anything interesting goin' on? The more I imagine that 280Z blue, the more I like it and would love to see progress pics.

Good luck!

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MikeY
Posts: 350
Joined: 26 Jun 2003 16:25
Location: Qualicum Van Isle

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby MikeY » 30 Jan 2016 13:13

Well I guess I can update things a bit. The car is painted and assembly has started. I have the doors all opening and closing nicly and the headliner in. I'm just awaiting the rubber so I can install the glass. I decided to buy caswell's copy cad kit and see how that looks. The mgb site I'm on seems to like it. I'm currently plating the first part. I will add a picture later.

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MikeY
Posts: 350
Joined: 26 Jun 2003 16:25
Location: Qualicum Van Isle

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby MikeY » 30 Jan 2016 15:41

Well happy with the copy cad. I just glass beaded the parts and the surface is a little flat. I'm sure if the parts were shinier to start the finish would be as well. I will clear coat these and see how that looks.
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greenthumb
Posts: 137
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Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby greenthumb » 30 Jan 2016 17:13

that Caswell product looks pretty interesting. Is this still some type of electrostatic process? Would love to hear your take on the process

jon510
Posts: 80
Joined: 31 Jul 2012 16:01

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby jon510 » 20 Feb 2016 21:40

Well, the wagon is back. I picked it up from Mike last week but hadn't got around to posting any details until now. It looks great, I'm happy with the paint choice and the bodywork looks great, Mike did awesome work and the paint turned out looking really good, especially given this was only Mike's second base/clear car.
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Stephan came over with me to pick the car up and we did a bunch of work with Mike reassembling before we towed it home. I bought a complete rubber kit from Datsport, which overall is pretty good, although some of the window seals still need a little tweaking, and the stainless trim on the rear doesn't seem to want to go on and the front trim doesn't really fit properly around the windshield rubbers. Not quite sure what's going on there so I'll have to email datsport. All the glass is in, as well as window felt and most of the seals. Still working on the hatch seals, those seem to be a bit of a pain.... I'll be cleaning up a fair bit of weatherstrip adhesive when they're done.
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I also put in brake lines. I used the cunifer stuff a bunch of people have used previously. I'm a little worried about the flares, even trying two different tools (okay, well I broke Mike's one so we had to get another) they never really looked all that great to me. I guess perhaps I should have invested in the super expensive flare tool... Anyway they leaked a bit when first connected, but after really tightening the fittings down they seem to be holding, for now. Not sure if I'm happy enough with them to not worry about them in the long run, maybe I'll look into having new lines made down the road. Overall they look ok - Mike says getting them perfect is an art, and I've realized I'm not really an artist....
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I also got the reservoirs on the master backwards, I was planning to use a 7/8 unit that I bought from rock auto but couldn't find a washer to allow use with the 510 pushrod so I just cleaned up the old master and replaced all the fittings. Maybe if I can find right washer I'll swap the master out later, it feels a bit soft to me with only the 3/4 in there but I'll see what it's like on the road. I seem to remember someone on the bluebirds list making these back in the day, and I think I may even have come across one in my pile of parts a few months back but couldn't remember what it was for. Not where was that.....
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We towed the car home with my old BJ60 landcruiser diesel. Boy that was fun. It must be the most underpowered vehicle ever created, so sticking even a stripped 510 behind it made for a slow go. Coming out of Horseshoe Bay was at a snail's pace, but we made it.
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Back home I've been working a bit on trying to get the 200sx e-brake to work. I made some plates to help support it on the transmission tunnel and give a channel for the handle to move through, and I thought I had everything all lined up with the mount below but I think the angle it put the cable at wasn't straight enough, and it seems to be bending it. And stretching something out, not sure what, but even with a lot of pressure on the handle the rear brakes aren't engaging. I'm hoping a new underfloor mount will fix things up, but this is putting my limited fabrication skills to the test. I'm just hoping the holes I have drilled to mount it won't all be for naught... More pics to follow, hopefully with a useful brake installed.

I got the oil pan back from James. It looks like it should clear the sway bar without an issue. I've got it mounted back on the engine now, so I'll drop the engine off the stand, hopefully tomorrow, then work on replacing the pilot bushing for the transmission and then replacing the clutch and transmission. If all goes well I should hopefully be getting the poweplant back in the car in the next week.
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Then I've got some more work to do on the wiring harness, and I'd like to make a new return fuel line, likely out of 5/16 cunifer, although I'm not quite sure what to do for fittings at the ends, I don't have a tool to make the proper bubble to connect to the rubber lines but wonder if I could just do the first portion of a brake flare on it, it would obviously be better not to have a sharp edge where the rubber comes in contact.


Hopefully it won't be long before I post more updates with the engine in and getting close to running again. Then I'm going to coax James into helping get the exhaust routed the normal route and sort out the rear springs and shocks. Plenty of work to go....

Jon

510tdi
Posts: 119
Joined: 05 May 2013 19:44
Location: Troutdale (near Portland) ,Oregon

Re: LD20 turbo wagon build

Postby 510tdi » 21 Feb 2016 02:03

Aaaah, I can rest again!
You know how badly it effects me going so long without updates. Now here's the motherload! Your wagon is looking incredible and the color really works. Man, you are really doing it up right. Please be careful with all that brake fluid, it would suck to get it on that beautiful paint job.

Question about the Datsport seals: Are you disappointed with the kit? I am very close to ordering a complete kit but it is a lot of money to pay to end up frustrated in the end. Maybe I should hold off until you get all your rubber stuff installed.

I feel like some kind of a vulture sitting back from a safe distance watching you do all this jumping into the deep end stuff! If it's any consolation, I'm really envious.

Bryan


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